El Jedid Mosque in Algiers, Algeria.
Photo by Damien Boilley, Creative Commons

Christian man sentenced, fined for ‘undermining’ faith of Muslims

AIN-DEFLA PROVINCE, Algeria — An Algerian court sentenced and fined a Christian man July 8 for allegedly accepting unauthorized donations to spread Christianity.

Ahmed Beghal (name changed for security) denies the charges, and says the related allegations of distributing Bibles, printing and distributing Christian literature, and thus, “shaking the faith of a Muslim” are false.

Beghal said he was forced to sign the authorities’ report on the allegations without getting to read it.

He plans to appeal the six-month prison sentence and fine of 100,000 dinars (US$740).

The charges are based on Algeria’s Law 03/06 that regulates non-Muslim worship and criminalizes any activity “which aims to undermine the faith of a Muslim.”

Islam is the state religion; 99 percent of the population is Muslim. The number of Christians is estimated at 50,000.

Beghal became a Christian in 2017, at which time his wife and children left him.

Algeria is No. 24 on Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List of places most difficult to be a Christian.

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